Abigail “Abbee” Lee Branton was 18 years old when she met 21-year-old Jonathan William Weidenhaft at a mutual friend’s game day party. They caught each other’s eye as the Saints played the Bears, but they never really talked. Two months later, they ran into each other at the Howlin’ Wolf, and sparks flew! They got to know each other for about a month before realizing they had never been on a real date, and the very next night they had their first official date at Sake Café.
Eleven years later, Jon was planning to propose and wanted to include everyone in their families – including their dogs. The couple was vacationing in the Bahamas with Abbee’s family, while Jon’s parents were sitting for their “granddogs” back home. Before the trip, Jon recorded a video with his parents and the dogs that he planned to show Abbee right before he proposed. During the vacation, Abbee and Jon boated to a private beach and were taking a walk when he said he received a text message from his parents with a video of the dogs. Abbee immediately grabbed the phone to see what their pups were up to! In the video his parents were walking the dogs around the block; when they got to back to the house, Jon appeared on screen and said, “Look behind you!”. Abbee was incredibly confused for a split second, but when she turned around Jon was on one knee with the ring out!
Abbee and Jon wanted something casual and fun for their rehearsal, so they decided on The Rusty Nail decorated with a balloon canopy by Bad Ass Balloon Co. and had it catered by Drago’s.
For the wedding, the couple wanted everything to be timeless, elegant and over the top, with just the right amount of modern edge. On January 13, 2018, Abbee walked down the aisle at the Marigny Opera House, her first and only choice for her wedding. She wore her “something new,” a custom Monique Lhuillier gown from I Do Bridal in Baton Rouge, and carried her “something borrowed,” a crystal rosary passed down from her great-grandmother, wrapped around the stem of her bouquet.
The celebration started immediately after the ceremony. Upon exiting, guests were entertained with champagne service and the music of the Kinfolk Brass Band and the Mardi Gras Revelers. They were then transported to the reception at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, where they were greeted by Deux Montegut on the piano and more champagne. The menu ranged from classic New Orleans to Italian, including seared foie gras, duck, pheasant and quail, locally sourced. The Ice Dragon created an amazing ice bar, and a special bourbon bar and lounge area featured a selection of some of Jon’s favorite bourbons. Artist Frenchy wowed the crowd with a live painting of the evening!
The couple chose Davie Bowie’s “Life on Mars” for their first dance, simply because they love it and always have fun together when it comes on the radio. As they danced to the song performed by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra, the couple’s new monogram was projected onto the dance floor.
The couple departed the next morning for their honeymoon in Thailand, where they spent one week in Phuket and one week in Krabi soaking up the sun and sand. They then returned to the New Orleans area and are currently remodeling their dream home in Covington.
Bride’s Dress: Ceremony
Dress: Custom Monique Lhuillier from I Do Bridal in Baton Rouge;
Reception Dress: Zuhair Murad
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Custom made by Vinnie Summers
Groom’s Attire: Custom suits by Chris Cook, Fellow Menswear
Groomsmen’s Attire: Custom suits by Chris Cook, Fellow Menswear
Engagement Ring, Bride’s Wedding Band & Groom’s Wedding Band: Jack Sutton Fine Jewelry
Coordinator: Terry Cambise Wedding & Event Consulting
Florist: Wedding and Reception: Kim Starr Wise; Cake florals and Reception: Ambrose Garden Florals
Reception Décor: Luminous Events of New Orleans; AD Event Group; Event Rental; Chair Couture LLC; Wildflower Linen/LA Tavola Fine Linen Rental
Photographer: Oscar Rajo Photography
Videographer: Studio Vieux Carre
Hair: Chelsey and Rhonda, H2O
Makeup: Rita Lucurto, Luxury Beauty Clinic